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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
March 01, 2007

Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.

For Further Information Contact:
Donna Leusner
(609) 984-7160

Former Human Services Commissioner Michele Guhl
Joins Department of Health and Senior Services


Michele Guhl, a former Human Services commissioner and former president of the association representing the health insurance industry in New Jersey, has joined the Department of Health and Senior Services as executive director of the Governor’s Commission on Rationalizing Health Care Resources.

“The Governor’s Commission has the crucial task of charting a future course for New Jersey’s health system and Michele Guhl has exactly the right blend of management experience and knowledge of the state’s complex health system that is needed to guide this panel,’’ said Health and Senior Services Commissioner Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.

Governor Jon Corzine appointed the commission last December to assess the financial health of New Jersey’s hospitals, compare future demand for health services with existing capacity and develop criteria to determine whether a financially distressed hospital at risk of closing is essential to maintain health care access.

Guhl served as president of the New Jersey Association of Health Plans from February 2001 through last December, and as commissioner of Human Services from July 1998 through February 2001. Guhl was responsible for what was then the largest department in state government with a budget of $7.2 billion and nearly 18,000 employees.

Before becoming Human Services commissioner, Guhl served as deputy commissioner of the Department and acting director of the Division of Youth and Family Services. She also served as a deputy chief of staff and cabinet secretary in the Governor’s Office from April 1994 through August 1995; director of operations of the Senate Majority Office from June 1992 through April 1994; director of the Mercer County Department of Human Services from June 1988 through June 1992 and deputy executive director of the Delaware Valley United Way.

Goveronor Corzine named Uwe E. Reinhardt, an internationally-recognized authority on health care economics and a Princeton University professor, as chairman of the commission. The other members are Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and chief executive officer of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Bruce Vladeck, interim president of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; former Health Commissioner Dr. Bruce Siegel; former Deputy Health Commissioner Gerry E. Goodrich; Joel Cantor, president of the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy; Debra DiLorenzo, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Southern New Jersey; attorney and nurse JoAnn Pietro; Peter Velez, chief executive officer of Newark Community Health Centers; and consultant David P. Hunter.

Guhl was appointed to the commission, but resigned last week to become its executive director.

The commission is expected to issue a preliminary report in June and a final report by the end of the year.

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